Enthusiasm is the most irresistible force in nature. Period. Find a person who is enthusiastic about what they do, and you will find yourself absorbing some kind of kinetic energy. You walk away searching for the thing you can be that enthusiastic about.
Tom Peters, in his book The Little Big Things, makes enthusiasm the first of his nineteen “E’s of Excellence.” Why? Well, ask yourself, have you ever met a successful person that didn’t have enthusiasm?
This morning on the beach a Corgi was briefly walking with his master. Suddenly, he tore off towards the waves. As he got to the waves, he would run away with all of the energy he could muster. Then he’d tear off again down the beach, and I swear you could see him smiling.
His enthusiasm came from enjoying the moment he was given, rather than pondering what might happen later in the day. He had the sand, he had the sun, he had the ocean, and he had someone who loved him. And he celebrated it.
That’s the kind of enthusiasm we need each day. To achieve it, we have to be aware of what’s going on around us. Sometimes we are so focused on the future, and what we’re going to achieve, and how we’re going to pay our bills, and how we’re going to get out of a dinner appointment we don’t want, that we miss a smiling face, or a beautiful sky, or the inherent humor in a ridiculous situation.
Let me give you an example. I was walking downtown going to an appointment a few weeks ago, and a very classy man in an elegant business suit was passing me on the left with a tremendous amount of speed. H e must have been 6’2”, and as he passed he took the time to nod his head in a greeting. I noticed that his eyes sparkled with a certain joy.
Just as he tried to pass his foot hit an uneven point in the sidewalk. Well, that threw him off balance. With all of his elegance tossed out the window, he proceeded to windmill his arms for about a block trying to regain his balance. He finally did, but not before he passing about ten people. Once he stood up straight, I saw him start to laugh, shoulders shaking, head thrown back. I joined in, because it was hilarious. But I looked around me, and everybody else had their heads down, eyes on the sidewalk, joy turned off while they pondered their problems. They missed the moment.
Enthusiasm is not just about achieving a goal. Enthusiasm comes from the ability to look around you every day and say “wow.” Wow, look at that sunset. Wow, I love what I do. Wow, look at my family laughing. Wow, I just almost busted it in front of a lot of people. Wow, that little dog is hilarious. Wow, we get to breathe in and out today. Wow.
So, today, I hope the Force of Enthusiasm goes with you wherever you go. I’m going back down to the beach tomorrow morning, hoping my Corgi friend is there. Maybe I’ll run around like crazy with him. The guy below isn’t the Corgi I saw, but he has the same spirit.
May the Force be with you.
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